The USA presently consumes an average of 20.7 million barrels of petroleum per day. China consumes an average of 6.4 million barrels of petroleum per day. Therefore, the USA consumes 3.2 times as much petroleum as China.
One barrel of crude petroleum is 42 gallons. That means that the average Chinese consumes 1/5th of a gallon of petroleum per day; and the average US American consumes close to 3 gallons per day. That is 15 times as much as the average Chinese.
Refined petroleum breaks down to 51.4% finished motor gasoline, 15.3% distillate fuel oil, 12.6% jet fuel and the rest as still gas, marketable coke, residual fuel oil, liquefied refinery gas, asphalt and road oil, lubricants and other refined products. In the process of refining, one 42-gallon barrel of crude petroleum actually grows to 48.4 gallons of refined petroleum products. So the average US American actually consumes 3.3 gallons of refined petroleum products daily.
If China consumed as much crude petroleum per capita as the USA, they would consume over 89 million barrels per day. Globally, proven petroleum reserves total approximately 1.3 trillion barrels. So if China consumed as much per capita as the USA, then the USA and China combined would consume over 40 billion barrels annually, depleting the world’s proven petroleum reserves within 32 years. Accounting for the rest of the countries on the world, proven petroleum reserves would be gone within 20 years.
China presently averages 133 people per automobile. The USA averages about 1.6 people per automobile. That means that China only has approximately 10 million automobiles on the road compared to 187 million automobiles on US American roads. China is expected to account for 18% of the world’s future growth in car sales over the next 10 years, and Chinese car makers are among the fastest growing companies in the world.
* * *
The USA consumes close to 3.8 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. About 24% of that total electricity is created in coal-fired power plants. China consumes close to 1.8 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Roughly 75% of that electricity is created in coal-fired power plants. Over 95% of China’s coal-fired power plants do not meet the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol; but China is exempt from this as it is considered a developing country.
China’s energy demand is expected to grow to 3 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year by 2020. China presently consumes about 28% of the world’s coal. Even at such consumption rates, the world’s proven coal reserves are estimated to last at least another 155 years. And with over 26% of the world’s coal reserves, the USA has the potential to become the next Saudi Arabia.
Of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, 16 are in China. The USA presently emits close to 6 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from the combustion of fossil fuels. China presently emits close to 4 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year from the combustion of fossil fuels. By 2025, China is expected to emit more carbon dioxide (likely responsible for global warming) and sulfur dioxide (responsible for acid rain) than the USA, Japan, and Canada combined.
In 2005, China’s industry for export was valued at $762 billion. China’s industry for domestic consumption was valued at $640 billion. That means that in 2005, roughly 55% of industry in China was for foreign consumption.
65% of all primary energy consumption in China is for the industrial sector. So if 55% of the industrial sector is to satisfy foreign consumer demands, then 36% of all energy consumption in China is in the name of foreign countries – mostly developed countries who on their home soil would be obligated to follow the Kyoto Protocol (other than the USA who refused to sign the treaty.)
China Population, China Population Information and Research Center. October, 2006.
World Petroleum Consumption 1960-2004, Energy Information Administration, Official Energy Statistics from the US Government. October, 2006.
Energy Summary of China, Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum. October, 2006.
Energy Summary of USA, Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum. October, 2006.
The World Factbook, China, Central Intelligence Agency. October, 2006.